SEATTLE - July and August are notorious months for losing family pets. This year is no different. In fact, with the recent heat wave, it may be even worse.
That is why Missing Pet Partnership has been unusually busy this summer, even though the national non-profit is relatively new to the Seattle area.
Kat Albrecht (yes, that is her real name) is the founder of Missing Pet Partnership. She is on the prowl for both human and canine volunteers to help her retrieve lost pets.
As she prepares to test two year old lab-mix Dexter as a potential cat finder, she explains not many dogs qualify for the job. The first step is to show adequate interest in a cat confined inside an animal carrier.
"Only one out of 14 dogs end up passing this test," she said. "See, we want a dog that wants to get the kitty, but not get the kitty!
Carmella Duca is Dexter's owner. She says she's a teacher, but has dreams of becoming a pet detective.
"When you lose a pet, it's like losing a part of the family," said Duca. "And I think this is a good way to help people find pets."
Dexter passes his first round of tests with flying colors, which is good news since Albrecht could use the help. She says the past month has been usually busy.
"We've been averaging 2 to 3 calls a day for missing dogs and cats and we don't have the volunteer base to keep up with the demand," she said.
During the recent hot streak, people left doors and windows open to cool down their homes. But that gives pets ample opportunity to either walk right out, or simply push out weak window screens. For a fee, Missing Pet Partnership offers search dogs to find lost animals, but advice is free. Albrecht says when a pet a disappears, think along the lines of mass market advertising.
"Most people don't realize that an 8 and 1/2 by 11 flyer is not the proper way to market a missing dog or a missing cat," she said. "You need to have giant highly visible florescent posters. You need to make it readable so that when people are driving past they can read the information."
Albrecht also says microchipping your pet is key to getting it back if it finds its way to a shelter. Missing Pet Partnership is actively looking for more volunteers - both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. For more information, go to .